Any ideas that I missed? What works well for your school? Remember to join the discussion in the Marketing Mastery For Schools Facebook Group.
Facebook Page Benchmarks
Today I’m going to be talking about how you can measure the success of your school’s Facebook page. I’m answering a question from Sarah Winston in the Marketing Mastery for Schools Facebook Group and she asked, “How do we know if our Facebook page is actually performing well and how do we benchmark against other schools?” I’m going to go through a few principles for you and I want this to be a practical podcast so feel free to open your Facebook page in another tab and go through it as you read through.
Looking at the home page of your Facebook page the first thing that you want to look at is the reviews. If you have your reviews showing on your Facebook page make sure that this isn’t just an abandoned area that you’re not really nurturing, make sure that you have good reviews up there. If you don’t, get people to start reviewing your college. Whenever you get a great review in or a happy parent emailing you, tell them, “Great, thank you so much. Do you want to post that as a review on our Facebook page as well?.” I’ve noticed that a lot of schools don’t even look at this area and they have bad reviews lingering there that they’re not aware of.
The next thing to look at is your response rates. The response rate shows how quick you are to respond when people message your page. If you have the ‘send message’ option available on your page and they message you and you don’t actually reply to them, then it shows on your Facebook page that you are very unresponsive and that’s not a good look for your school.
This is a very hard thing to do but try to have your team reply within an hour of someone’s message (early morning hours excluded of course). Another option is to have an automatic reply after people message you on Facebook. This is a message that gets sent automatically to them and says something like, “Thank you so much for your message. We’ll endeavour to answer you within one working day or within an hour and we’ll get to you shortly.” That just sets their expectations of what to expect when they have messaged you.
Quality over Quantity
So when you’re looking at your actual page a lot of schools try to focus on the number of likes they have and, yes it’s great if you have a few thousand likes on your Facebook page. But, that’s not necessarily all good news for a school. The thing that’s really important for a school is the quality of the audience. The reason for this is that when you post to your Facebook page organically Facebook actually decides based on users’ previous actions who they think will be interested in what you just posted.
If you have an audience that really is a bit far removed from your school and they’re not really interested in your school they’re generally not going to be engaged at all. If you have two or three thousand people on your page and more than half of those are disengaged and not really interested in your brand then you’re really going to be fighting for attention in a newsfeed with this large, disengaged audience. The chance of you reaching that niche audience that’s really interested in what you have to say is a lot lower.
Building a More Engaged Audience
Instead of focusing on the number of likes that you have, focus on the quality of the audience that you have. What I recommend first of all is that you get your current parents to join your Facebook page. When people enrol in your college I always recommend that the marketing department send out a welcome to the college, “this is your expectations for communications and weekly newsletters and things like that, and be sure to like our Facebook page.” Make it really easy for your current parents to like your Facebook page.
A similar thing can be done with enrollment inquiries so get everyone that’s inquiring at your college to like your Facebook page and try to build a local audience. I don’t really recommend doing Facebook ads for likes specifically; I just don’t find it effective. I think focusing on quality and organically building those likes is the way to go.
Insights – Pages to Watch
In terms of Sarah’s questions regarding benchmarking, what you can do is go to the insights tab for your page in business manager. You’ll notice there on the overview page, if you scroll down to the bottom there’s a section called pages to watch. You can actually choose up to five other organisations that you want to watch. You obviously want to add yourself to the list and then it actually compares how you are going in terms of your page likes, your post engagements, posts from last week, posts from this week, and the engagement that you got.
That gives you a benchmark and it’s best to look at this once a week just to know week by week how you’re going in terms of your engagement. Not every page is worth watching. Make sure that you choose the schools that are doing really innovative things in terms of their social media and you’re not just choosing a school necessarily that’s directly in your geographic area or your direct competitor. Rather, benchmark against a school that’s doing innovative things in social media.
Insights – Reach
The next thing that you want to get an idea about is, based on how many likes you have for your page how much reach are you getting for each of your posts? On the home page of the insights tab you will see a list of your recent posts and you can see all your posts if you want to. Then, you can see how much reach you got. That reach is paid versus organic but it will distinguish between the two so you want to look at the organic reach.
If you know that you have, say, 1,500 followers on your Facebook page but then you start to see the history of your posts and that you’re only reaching 40 or 50 people then you know that you have a problem and you need to change the content. You need to either add more photos and videos and engaging content or you need to change the topics that you are posting about. You can go through that list and see which posts are doing the best and that will give you ideas for future content to post.
Insights – Page Views
The next interesting insight to look at is ‘page views’, which gives you an idea of how visible your page is on Facebook. The page views tab tells you how many people are actually looking at your Facebook page and not just seeing you in the newsfeed. And you can actually see how they found your page so whether they searched for you on Facebook or Google.
If you know that you’re getting 20 or 30 people visiting your page every day, it gives you an indication of how visible your page is in search results and how many people are actually searching for your school specifically on Facebook and visiting your page. The most important thing to look at that I mentioned before, is engagement and the quality of your audience. To measure how engaged people are, there used to be on Facebook pages a little phrase, people talking about this, and they would tell you the number of people talking about your page. That would be the number of people that are engaging with your posts.
That’s no longer visible on the home page but you can still see it. When you’re in the insights tab on the left-hand side you’ll see people and you’ll be able to see all the demographics of people and the age groups of how engaged they are.
Insights – People Engaged
When you look at the ‘people engaged’ tab you can actually see the data of people that are engaging with your page and they also give you statistics based on audience gender and age group. You can see which age group specifically is talking about your page the most and that is the most important group to focus on.
So that wraps up my audit on your Facebook page. I encourage you to go through, do a quick audit of your page and write down a few points of what you think you can improve in the next few weeks and work through it slowly. Good luck.